Former MC of Ozomatli, Kanetic Source, Needs Our Help for His Sick Child Fighting Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma

January 18, 2011

As a huge and loving fan of Ozomatli, a funky, world-music dance band from Los Angeles, one of my favorite aspects to the band in the early days was watching their MC Kanetic shake his booty…the man can dance, and with his big, contagious smile, it was hard not to follow his lead. After a few years Kanetic left the band. I often wondered what happened to my and my husband’s dancing coach.

Kanetic and I a few years ago

Well, the other night at an Ozomatli show (our first since coming back to the States, and oh-so-great to experience) Kanetic came out for a surprise appearance. But his stage time was not for fun and laughs…it was, instead, to help bring awareness to his son’s plight for a happy life…

Kanetic’s four year old son, Noah Stout, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma on December 27, 2010 at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital (Stanford) in Palo Alto, California. Noah is a sweet and loving little four year old boy who was playing at home when suddenly he fell and was unable to stand up. His parent’s rushed him to Regional Hospital where the ER doctors decided to do a CT and MRI to ensure he had no major head injuries. To everyone’s surprise, they found a tumor and rushed Noah in an ambulance to Stanford Children’s Hospital. The Stanford Neuro Oncologists reviewed his MRI where he was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).

Here’s a message from the Stout Family:

Your help will support our son’s fight as well as give hope to parents who are dealing with this illness. All proceeds will be, not only for the benefit of our son Noah, but all children who are in this fight. We hope that if it’s Gods will, that we will cure our son and be the miracle that so many parents around the world have been waiting for. God is everything and the most merciful. Thank you for taking the time to read about our beautiful son, Noah. God Bless.

The Stout Family

Please help this adorable little boy…The Stout Family has set up a web page and a link to donate via PayPal. For more information, please visit You can also join the “I Heart Noah” Facebook fanpage.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 19th, little Noah is scheduled for a biopsy at UCSF Childrens Hospital. The family is asking for healing energy and vibe to be sent their way for the procedure.

Family Stout, my thoughts are with you.

Collaboration Quote of the Month

May 28, 2010

We must chase our dreams or they are sure to escape us.

Shanie Matthews

Collaboration Warming Things Up

February 19, 2010

One of my passions in life is helping disadvantaged children.

Included in the reasons my husband, Jamie, and I decided to move to Argentina from the United States nearly 5 years ago was to assist  lower income families access the tools needed to improve their life.

Living in Bariloche we realized that an immense part of the local population does not have the proper gear or means to get into the beautiful surrounding Patagonian wilderness. So, to help other’s experience, and, hopefully, identify and appreciate the amazing natural environment, we started collaborating with our Lake Tahoe, California circle of snow-loving family. We began a program that connected the extra gear from our Tahoe tribe to people in Patagonia 7,000 miles away.

Bringing these two factions together has been such a wonderful experience. Not only has it helped shelter people from the cold, but all I have to do is think back to a coat recipient’s smile and my heart is warmed.

Well, recently our reach has broadened.

We have started working with Fundación Cruzada Patágonica, a non-profit organization with thirty years under their belt, two progressive schools that house over 150 children and the educational curriculum needed to offer those youngsters tools for a positive future.

Not long ago, we had the pleasure of lunching with the president of the organization, Diego Baudo. A friendly, welcoming persona with a big smile, it is obvious by the enthusiasm in his eyes that he loves his job.

During the meeting we mentioned our winter gear drive and that we had a large box of nice equipment waiting for him in our truck. With our offering a partnership was made; we will continue to help bring in warm clothing and the foundation will sell gear that exceeds what is needed by the children and use the money to help with the school. Excellent!

Our last sale brought in over 2,000 Argentine Pesos, which has gone to school supplies for the children. The gear that wasn’t sold was given to the kids. More smiles to keep the heart rosy, thanks to global collaboration.

Collaborative Appreciation

February 10, 2010

In my experience, the more you show appreciation to others involved in your project of collaboration, the more success you will see. This applies to business, sport or life in general.

So, with that in mind, my husband and I recently took our vacation rental business associates out to one of the classic gourmet “foodie” restaurants that thankfully exist in our Patagonian city of Bariloche.

The appreciation dinner started out with sunset viewing and a glass of wine at our house. We then took the party across the street to one of our favorite culinary delights, Yuco.

As we walked in, it was a memorable moment seeing the looks on all three ladies faces when they entered the dining room. It was apparent by their smiles, that they knew they were in for a treat.

But in all reality, what made it special for me was getting to hang out with these three amazing women. They all have their own vibrancy that helped us decide to work with them in the first place. Getting to spend relaxed time with them outside the workplace made that inner glow shine even more.

Our somewhat-serious house cleaner, Betty, we come to find out, is a real comedian. Her joyful, bubbly energy, contagious laugh and irresistible smile had the table in hysterics at times. Mariana, our incredibly kind business assistant, had shown more of a shy side to her personality before. Tonight she was a rosy glow, a magnetic energy pushing away any resemblance to a timid girl. And our oh-so-helpful resident massage therapist, Christina, was given some “me time” where the earnest bed-side manner of a healer could be shed and her hair allowed to fall.

Our Equipo Sueño

It means so much to us that these three amazing people are in our lives…not only because of their important roles in our business. But also, and more importantly, we are friends.

And it’s another affirmative experience that positive collaboration brightens life.

Helping Haiti Survive Together

February 1, 2010

It is widely known the devastation that Haiti is experiencing. It is tragic, horrifying and sad to see the living conditions for those survivors.

In spirit of collaboration I would like to give some exposure to two very worthwhile operations that are giving their time and energy to help the people of Haiti.

Stand With Haiti is a non-profit that was actually based in Haiti long before the earthquake. On the ground for the last 20 years, Stand With Haiti was originally recommended to me by a dear doctor friend, Dr. Alex. Dr. Alex is in Haiti now helping the injured and sick. This is her organization of choice to help…and, for me, knowing that she has put her life on hold to help the Haitians, I believe she is really putting her money (and time) where her mouth is.

The Water School

The second non-profit that I would like to offer a loud thanks to is The Water School. I originally came across this organization via a friend that is doing a benefit climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in March to help bring clean water to people in Africa. Created in 2007 by Bob Dell, a water scientist, and Fraser Edwards, a businessman with decades of experience in partnering with indigenous leaders to implement lasting change, the two collaborated to make an ingenious piece of equipment that easily and cheaply disinfects and cleans water for thousands, if not millions, of people throughout Africa. 

The system is easy to teach and The Water School goes from village to village educating the people on how to give themselves the gift of clean water.

Now with the devastating effects of the Haiti earthquake, they are taking their life-saving purification system to another continent and nation.

Both of these non-profits can use our help. Even $5.00 makes a difference. In support and hope for all those in Haiti, thank you.

5 Collaboration Tools to Activate in 2010

January 4, 2010

As the first days of 2010 quickly slide by, it is hard to believe that we are already ten years into the new millennium. It just seems like yesterday when my husband and I were riding up the 20-person funitel lift at Squaw Valley, in Lake Tahoe, for the count down. Some of our friends thought we were crazy for being anywhere near a mechanical device for fear of the Y2K computer scare. It’s a shared joke now.

For me, 2009 was amazingly inspirational and trying at the same time. Much was learned. Some of the biggest lessons had to do with collaboration. So, in light of the first decade of the 2000 millennium winding itself down and a fresh way to communicate the time period (twenty – ten), I thought it would be only fitting if I share five of my favorite cooperation tools…

1. Laying the foundation… In the beginning of a project it is important to establish three aspects of the business that will be created. Writing out the Mission Statement, Code of Ethics and Core Values is a positive step in avoiding confusion later. It also helps everyone that is involved be accountable for their role and actions in the organization.

2. Have open communication that supports growth… a collaboration is a group effort. A fantastic part about working together is the different ideas that will be presented by the various personalities involved. In so saying, it is then a vital aspect of collaboration that members voice concerns, ideas and opinions…as long as it is done in a respectful manner that inspires positive productivity. Complaining just to complain or belittling someone’s thoughts is not only a waste of time, but it also slows done the voice of inspiration. Constructive criticism brings greatness.

3. Take advantage of today’s technology… It is so amazing the price, efficiency and easy-ability of keeping in touch now-a-days. Working together no longer requires living in the same town, huge phone bills, or the loss of trees for volumes worth of paperwork. Technology truly is a gift to global collaboration.

4. Work from a values-based business perspective… If you work from a place of good, people are drawn to your efforts. A great example of this is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. Giving should be a part of all businesses created, because, really, if it wasn’t for the people–whether client or associate–a company would be nothing.

5. Include environmental thinking… The more people that I collaborate with, the more environmental-friendly personalities I come in contact with. It is truly inspirational. And it reminds me that it is not too expensive, out there or unrealistic to create businesses that are completely and totally green. In fact, collaboration assists us in helping Mother Earth. Our collective genius as a globe has the solutions. The great part of working together is that we as a group can change those aspects of life that must evolve. We can hold ourselves accountable in not only how we treat each other, but also in how we protect the planet.

May we move into this new decade with the ability to advance our thinking and activate the lessons from the past.

Happy 2010!

January 1, 2010

Happy 2010! Wishing a year filled with positive collaboration, prosperity and health for all!

photo courtesy of A Day In Your Life Photography

Ways to Interact

November 29, 2009

An important part of collaboration is being able to communicate. And with the today’s real time environment the communication needs to be easy, understandable and ready to use at an instant. The developments of technology have been one of the biggest components when discussing this new cooperation among global members.

To get an understanding of the basic concepts of “real time” communication, check out an article I wrote for Transitions Abroad. It gives a broad description of what is out on the market to help us get together in a cheap, efficient manner.

Welcome to the Era of Collaboration

November 23, 2009

Hi! My name is Shanie Matthews. Welcome to my blog celebrating the Era of Collaboration.

The world is shifting towards the Era of Collaboration. Experts in business and finance find that we as a global body are moving towards working together like never before. Information exchanges hands in the blink of a second. The up-and-coming youth are more connected than past generations because of technology like instant messaging and texting. Companies are taking advantage of a flat world.

These facts are making a shift in how our planet runs.

In fact, Don Tapscott, a Canadian business executive, author, consultant and speaker based in Toronto, Ontario, specializing in business strategy, organizational transformation and the role of technology in business and society, believes that business as a whole is moving towards a “time of collaboration”. This means that because of the high speed information exchange due to the internet and the first generation of computer savvy 20-somethings hitting the market place, that business practices are developing an ever-increasing cooperation of expertise coming from all corners of the globe to create a product or service.

Statistics done by the International Labour Organization have shown that business models such as cooperatives are a leading option in today’s global financial crisis.

People all around the globe are moving towards working together.

For me this was a realization as I did hours of research looking into creating a ski area cooperative. The information that I came across was inspiring, to say the least.

So, thus the reason for this blog. What I found out about the Era of Collaboration is so imperative to the betterment of thousands of lives. It will help not only the trade of information but it will also create a world in which transparency and accountability are the norm.

This blog was inspired as a means to trade and share information that helps us as a globe collaborate.

So, here’s to collaboration and working together!

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